Lagos delights in Williams exhibition

Venus and Serena Williams’ tour of Nigeria and South Africa continued on Friday (November 2, 2012) when they played an exhibition match in Lagos to the delight of the city’s tennis fans.

Having already appeared at a school in the Nigerian capital earlier in the week, the multiple grand slam winners took to the courts at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club and traded shots in searing heat. The hundreds of fans who packed into the stands contributed to the highest attendance at the club since it was established in 1895.

Although the match lacked the intensity of some of their previous encounters, the crowd got behind both players, with Venus eventually winning in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5.

“It is the best of tennis we have ever had in this country of ours, Nigeria and it’s like this is our US Open here in Nigeria, live,” said one fan after the match.

Venus certainly seemed impressed with the crowd, saying: “Obviously, hard work pays off, you know sometimes in life you have ups and downs but it’s about how you face those challenges, I’ve definitely had that but I love playing tennis, I love playing tennis, here, you guys were fantastic today, I’m so blessed to be here, thank you guys for your love and support, it feels so good to be here.”

Watched by their mother Oracene, Serena and Venus knocked up with two youngsters before their match, while Venus further endeared herself to her fans by dancing along to a popular Nigerian song on court after her victory.

The sisters will now move on to Johannesburg in South Africa, where they will again work with underprivileged youngsters, overseeing a tennis clinic in Soweto.

Their week-long tour is designed to champion the rights of women in Africa.

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